NEWS

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August 4, 2006

Headline choices don't prove much

I have another gripe with Sullivan today, he attacks Reuters for their choice of headline, "Iran Leads Islamic Nations in Demanding End to Mideast War," for an article that featured this tidbit:

"Although the main cure (to the situation) is the elimination of the Zionist regime, in this stage an immediate ceasefire should be implemented," Ahmadinejad, who previously has said Israel should be wiped off the map, told the closed door meeting.
Now Reuters could have obviously choose a better headline, but I don't think people realize what the headlining process is. It isn't a group of editors coming up with the best and most descriptive headline they possibly can.There are numerous constraints on the person headlining, most prominent of which is character spacing. On top of that, the person headlining didn't write the article. They don't neccesarily know each and every part of it. It is silly to assume otherwise.There is definately a bias in the media but headline choices is not the place to look for it.